E Strategic Concerns for ICT Use
Over the past decade large investments have been made in ICTs in education. Some of the key issues facing educators and policymakers today include the following: Impact on learning and achievement
It is generally believed that ICTs can empower teachers and learners, making significant contributions to learning and achievement. However, current research on the impacts of ICTs on student achievement yields few conclusive statements, pro or con, about the use of ICTs in education. Studies have shown that even in the most advanced schools in industrialized countries, ICTs are generally not considered central to the teaching and learning process. Moreover, there appears to be a mismatch between methods used to measure effects and the type of learning promoted. Standardized testing, for example, tends to measure the results of traditional teaching practices, rather than new knowledge and skills related to the use of ICTs. It is clear that more research needs to be conducted to understand the complex links between ICTs, learning, and achievement. Monitoring and evaluation
Many of the issues and challenges associated with ICTs in education initiatives are known by policymakers, donor staff, and educators. However, data on the nature and complexity of these issues remains limited because of the lack of good monitoring and evaluation tools and processes. Where evaluation data is available much of the work is seen to suffer from important biases. Another problem in this area is the lack of a common set of indicators for ICTs in education. And, where data has been collected, it is often quantitative data related to infrastructure (number of computers, for example) rather than data that can help policymakers gauge the impact of ICT interventions on student learning. If ICTs are to become effective and integral tools in education, and if accountability is to be demonstrated to donors and stakeholders, monitoring and evaluation must be a...
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